On Wednesday 29th October a meeting was held between representatives for the Alliance of Energy Assessor Associations and officials from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). The primary purpose of the meeting was to discuss the increased engagement of Energy Assessors in the processes and decisions that affect our industry and the role the Alliance is able to play in that. The Alliance is an accord between the three main established Energy Assessor Associations to work together for the mutual benefit of their members and the wider Energy Assessor community. It was a very positive meeting with both parties appearing to believe that more involvement of the Assessor Associations would be beneficial, particularly with reference to participation in the Conventions Groups. The Alliance which enables all the Assessor Associations to speak with a single voice, and therefore makes direct involvement easily manageable for the other parties, would seem to provide the opportunity for this to become a reality. Ian Sturt, Vice Chair of DCHI and instigator of the meeting commented. "We were pleased to have the opportunity for this face-to-face discussion and appreciate the openness of the DCLG officials. It appeared our message of co-operation to achieve our mutual goals was well received and the opportunity it presented to strengthen the workings of our industry was recognised. There remains much to be done but hopefully a significant corner has been turned". An immediate benefit from the meeting is the opening of direct communication between the Energy Assessor Associations and DCLG on matters which would previously have needed to go via the Accreditation Schemes. This should improve the ability to ensure DCLG are aware of the issues faced by Assessors but as Ian says "we have a duty to use this responsibly to make sure the focus is on what is really important". It would also appear that DCLG is to propose to each of the conventions groups that a place is provided on the group for an Alliance representative. Whilst this will only be possible with the agreement of the Accreditation Schemes it is difficult to see why they should object to assistance from the Associations whose members need to follow the conventions. After all, user involvement is the best way to achieve subsequent user acceptance. Quality and consistency of the various types of Energy Certificates is key for all parties in the process. Working together to improve the robustness of guidance, auditing and communication is the best way to build in improvements to quality and consistency. 1st November 2014 Note for publishers The statement above is made on behalf of DCHI. If published on the Internet it must include a link to www.dchi.org.uk unless prior permission to use without a link has been obtained from the author.
DCHI statement on meeting with DCLG on 29th October 2014